PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Port St. Lucie Police Department introduced their newest K9 team on Friday, K9 Handler Officer Michael Bianco and K9 Ciro.
Officer Bianco is a 12-year police veteran and eight-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
"I’ve actually had a passion for it ever since the canine unit was attached to our DART team," said Officer Bianco
The police department evaluated four dogs and Ciro, a two-year-old malinois/German shepherd mix, was their final pick from Metro Dade K9.
Ciro was brought to Port St. Lucie on Thursday.
"The first couple days are really designed for the dog and handler to come together. Just the bonding and getting used to each other, getting used to the new environment," said Port St. Lucie Police Officer Michael Colton. "What he's learning now is to bond with the handler. To bond with the handler‘s family. To get used to and accustomed to our training facility, riding in a car is new for him."
Ciro and Bianco will complete about 600 hours of training before working for the police department.
The Port St. Lucie Police Department has five active police dogs in service right now. Ciro will make six once he is finished with training in May.
"Ciro will do all the functions of a patrol dog, which includes protecting his handler, he will track, he will do area searches, building searches, article/evidence searches, and then on top of that his extra discipline will be narcotics odor detection," said Colton.
Not only did Bianco receive a work partner, but he also gained a new family member.
"It’s different. You know, before you go home you put your gun belt up and you’re done for the day. I go home, I’m not done. I still have to take care of him. That’s a little different because now, I have to take care of him on top of my family life," Bianco said.